Those who accuse Israel of being an “apartheid” state are often silenced by the revelation that Israeli Arabs have their own political parties and are elected to Israel’s parliament, the Knesset.
Even more astounding to the uneducated is the tolerance of the Israeli democratic system that allows Arab MKs to attack and slander the country at every opportunity.
Such is the case with MK Haneen Zoabi writing in The Guardian on the arrest in the UK of Islamic Movement in Israel leader Sheikh Raed Salah.
The Guardian has given a platform for Zoabi to act as an apologist for a virulent anti-Semitic extremist, to attack what she sees as Zionist and Israeli “racism” and to accuse pro-Israel advocates in the UK of being behind Raed Salah’s current difficulties.
Firstly, some background. Salah was identified by the British government as a negative and extremist influence and banned from entering the country on a speaking tour, which included a meeting in the Parliament building itself. Somehow, the UK’s Border Agency failed to recognize Salah who arrived in Britain unimpeded until the police caught up with him later. Salah is now facing deportation back to Israel.
According to Zoabi:
The decision to ban the Palestinian leader Sheikh Raed Salah from entering Britain, and then to arrest him, was transparently not based on any serious examination of his political activities. It was an ugly kneejerk response to the growing hostility of the Israeli establishment and its supporters abroad towards anyone opposing its racist policies – and a rising tide of Islamophobia in Europe. …
Unable to produce any legal evidence, the Israeli establishment and its supporters in Britain accuse him of antisemitism. Salah has rebutted the fabricated allegations behind these claims and instructed his lawyers to begin legal action against those repeating them.
It appears that the charge of antisemitism is being used as a way of suppressing criticism of Israeli policies.
So let’s see why the UK deemed Salah worth banning.
Could it be his blood libel charge made during a speech in 2007 where he accused Jews of using children’s blood to bake bread?:
“We have never allowed ourselves to knead [the dough for] the bread that breaks the fast in the holy month of Ramadan with children’s blood,” he said. “Whoever wants a more thorough explanation, let him ask what used to happen to some children in Europe, whose blood was mixed in with the dough of the [Jewish] holy bread.”
Or maybe it was Salah’s despicable promotion of the conspiracy theory that the 9/11 terrorist atrocities were carried out by Israel:
A suitable way was found to warn the 4,000 Jews who work every day at the Twin Towers to be absent from their work on September 11, 2001, and this is really what happened! Were 4,000 Jewish clerks absent [from their jobs] by chance, or was there another reason? At the same time, no such warning reached the 2,000 Muslims who worked every day in the Twin Towers, and therefore there were hundreds of Muslim victims.
Perhaps Salah’s Islamic Movement’s mourning of Osama bin Laden may have led the UK authorities to consider him worth excluding from the country:
We in the Islamic Movement condemn the assassination operation against the sheikh, the martyr Osama Bin Laden, if [reports are] true, at the hands of the American security arms.
The assassination, if true, proves collusion of mercenaries who have sold their consciences to cursed Satan.
But no. According to Haneen Zoabi, Salah is a victim of Zionist racism and persecution and evokes the ugly charge that Salah’s banning from the UK and his subsequent arrest are due to the nefarious power of the “pro-Israel lobby” in the UK:
Pro-Israel organisations in Britain and elsewhere are manipulating growing European Islamophobia to discredit us by falsely portraying the democratic Palestinian struggle against racism and discrimination in Israel as antisemitic. …
The British authorities have fallen into an Israeli trap. Instead of supporting our leaders and their campaign for freedom and democracy, they are supporting Israeli persecution of the Palestinian citizens of Israel. Until now, Palestinian citizens of Israel have been struggling for our political rights in our country, and confronting Zionist racism inside Israel. But now it seems we have to confront Zionist racism abroad as well.
The pro-Israeli lobby must not be allowed to determine politics in Britain. Palestinians in Israel see the arrest of Salah by the British authorities as backing Israeli policies against us.
While Zoabi’s extremism many not be couched in such explicit terms as Salah’s, her accusations and insinuations of Jewish and Israeli influence subverting the British political system are just as ugly.
For Salah’s detention is part of the British government’s Prevent strategy that seeks to stop people becoming terrorists or supporting terrorism by tackling non-violent extremism where it creates an environment conducive to terrorism and popularises ideas that are espoused by terrorist groups.
Please ensure that a rational voice is heard and both Salah’s and Zoabi’s extremism is exposed by sending your considered comments to The Guardian – firstname.lastname@example.org